The Jakarta Post
Hundreds of people scrambled to get their hands on a piece of a pair of gunungan (cone-shaped offering) during a Gerebeg Besar event at Surakarta's Kasunanan Palace on Wednesday.
The two gunungan consisted of a jaler (male) made of vegetables and fruits, and an estri (female) that contained rengginang (fried glutinous-rice cookies).
Marked by terompet corobalen (honorary trumpet salute) by the soldiers of the kraton, a parade of abdi dalem (royal servants) could be seen bringing the pair of gunungan as well as ten small gunungan outside the palace complex.
The parade then went to Agung Mosque, around 500 meters from the palace.
Grebeg Besar is a tradition of the Surakarta and Yogyakarta palaces to celebrate Idul Adha, which fell on Wednesday.
"These two gunungan are prepared to show the palace's gratitude to God and are then given to the public," said a representative of the palace, Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Haryo (KGPH) Dipokusumo.
The peak of the event was the offering of the gunungan to the hundreds of people who had waited for hours at the mosque's front yard after a prayer was read.
Later on the gunungan jaler was returned to the palace, where it was offered to people who waited there.
"I always come during Grebeg for blessings at the palace. I usually keep the vegetables [that I get from the gunungan] in the kitchen until they dry out. I later cut them up and spread them on the soil to make it more fertile," said 57-year-old Masiyem, a local of Tawangmangu, Karanganyar.
One of the palace's abdi dalem, Mas Ngabehi Sumardi, 65, said the philosophy of the event was that people should work hard to achieve their purpose.
"Don't just see how they scramble to get the gunungan. The point is, people have to go through a process and work hard to reach something," he said.
However, not everyone at the event understood the meaning of it.
A tourist from Bogor, West Java, 20-year-old Fani, said that she simply sought to have fun by joining the crowd.
"I was able to get long beans and tomatoes. It was fun; though I don't know what to do with them," said Fany, adding it was her first time participating in such an event. (kes)